Archive for the ‘ Honey Technical Information ’ Category

A guide to honey’s color
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Did you know that honey isn’t just amber in color?

That’s right, honey comes in a variety of colors, and even has its own grading system! Find out how the color and flavor of honey change depending on the varietal.

How is honey’s color graded?

The United States Department of Agriculture classifies the color of honey into seven categories: water white, extra white, extra light amber, light amber, amber and dark amber. The standard system for measuring the color of honey is called the Pfund color grading system. A Pfund color grader is a standard amber-colored glass wedge that goes from light to dark. Honey is measured on a scale of millimeters, where 0 mm would be on the extreme left of the water white bar and 140 mm is at the extreme right of the dark amber bar.

What makes honey a certain color?

The color of honey depends on the flower source visited by the honey bees. With more than 300 types of honey in the United States, each originating from a different floral source, it’s safe to say that not all honey looks the same.

Does color correlate with the flavor of honey?

Generally, light-colored honeys have a milder taste, while the flavor of darker colored honeys is stronger. However, there are exceptions to the rule. A light honey such as basswood is generally considered strong flavored while the darker tulip poplar is considered mild.

Does the color of honey change?

The color of honey can deepen in color as it ages, and become lighter when it crystallizes. These changes do not affect its flavor.

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The shocking fact about honey’s shelf life
Friday, October 7th, 2016

honey-shelf-life

Product developers commonly ask, “What is the shelf life of honey?” Most find themselves in shock to find out there isn’t one.

That is right, if kept under the right conditions honey will not spoil.

Archeologists have discovered preserved honey while digging in Egypt, and to their surprise, the honey was still edible. Although we do not suggest leaving it on the shelf for that long, it does prove that honey has the capability to outlast our own lives.

Honey’s moisture content (about 17%), low pH and antibacterial properties make it one of the only ingredients that will most likely not spoil. It is, however, still important to store honey properly to maintain its integrity.

Honey should be kept in a sealed container at room temperature, between 64-75°F and out of direct sunlight. If honey is kept in cooler temperatures, between 35-60°F, it is known to hasten honey’s natural crystallization process. But that is not an end for honey.

If honey crystalizes, it can be saved by heating. Honey can be placed in hot water and slightly shaken to reduce or remove crystallization. Different varietals of honey may take longer than others to crystalize, and some actually have a low tendency to crystalize at all. Either way, it can be saved!

The next time you purchase honey, there is no need to fear. With proper care, your honey is here to stay.

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Why are there so many varieties of honey?
Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Varities of Honey

In the United States alone, there are more than 300 varieties of honey. Clover, buckwheat, tupelo and basswood are among the most popular flavors, but there are countless more to choose from.

Why is there such a wide variety of flavors? The answer isn’t as simple as you think. The flavor of honey comes from where the bees gather nectar. Different flowers produce different nectar, resulting in honey with different tastes, aromas and experiences.

All honey starts off as nectar, which is gathered by honeybees and stored in a special stomach. After filling their stomach, bees return to the hive and exchange the nectar with hundreds of other bees, breaking down the nectar into fructose and glucose. From there, the bees deposit it into a comb, fan it until there is only about 17% moisture left, and seal it away with a wax cap for storage.

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